Expert Info

Posted by
on 16 Aug 2012
I just read Stephen Patriarca's (UK Expat)interview on moving and retiring in Austria. Stephen made particular comment about deciding where to have one's pension taxed - but didn't comment further. Can annyone give advice on the suitable pension options for for a UK Expat retiring in Austria? What should I look out for? There are a lot of QROPS providers offering "great benefits", but start up and annual costs are high. Is a UK SIPP better, particularly if the fund amount is not significant. Also Austrian tax kicks in at 36.5% after the first Euro 11,000. whereas in the UK for retired persons the tax level is only 20% after the pensionable tax allowance (currently approx. Euro 12,000.
Anonymous (not verified) on 17 Aug 2012
Gruss Gott Andrew. I could not possibly advise on these very complex finance issues except to say make sure you do ask advice in BOTH countries. The Ex Pat Centre here in Vienna will readily put you in touch with experts in the field and some preliminary advice is free of charge. My own point was that Government pensions have to be taxed in the UK (and then tax refunded under Double Taxation Treaty) however my Teachers' Pension was earned through the private sector at a time when the state was very keen to have private sector members of the TPA for its own purposes (now the situation is changed there are of course political voices against this). In my case then I was given a choice and rather stupidly I elected to be taxed wholly in Austria. As you know Austria has one of the highest tax regimes in the EU. That said, many would see property as the best pension! I am certainly nervous about all European currencies especially the Euro. I am not a Financial adviser! But I would go for bricks and mortar every time.
Andrew Flower on 25 Aug 2012
Thank you very much for your response. Your interview raised the issue of tax rates in the two countries and this is very valuable. I shall investigate more deeply. And if I become any the wiser i will post an update.